Crown & Hops’ Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter
BrewDog has released further details on its partnership with Crowns & Hops, the American craft beer lifestyle brand.
Crowns & Hops is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based craft beer enthusiasts Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, also known as Dope & Dank. Together, Beny and Teo are on a mission to shine a light on the lack of diversity in the current global craft beer culture, and develop concrete steps to open the industry up to a much more diverse audience by challenging ingrained stereotypes that black and brown people don’t drink craft beer.
In October last year, the Aberdeenshire brewery announced that Beny and Teo will be the first beneficiaries of its revamped development fund, an initiative that sees BrewDog making up to £200,000 available each year to help small craft breweries, brands, and start-up businesses get established.
In addition to financial support, BrewDog will be providing material support to brewers, such as assistance in sourcing ingredients and brewing materials, offering its state-of-the-art laboratory for beer analysis, and supporting growth by introducing recipients to its international sales network. BrewDog will also brew Crowns & Hops beers alongside its own headliner beers in its Ellon brewery, for distribution across the UK and beyond.
Through the development fund, BrewDog will be assisting Crowns & Hops with the establishment of its first ever brewpub in Inglewood, California, and the production and distribution of Crowns & Hops signature line of beers.
BrewDog will also support Crowns & Hops with the management of two crowdfunding campaigns set to launch this year. Dubbed the Crowns & Hops Crew, the crowdfunding campaigns will seek to establish a physical collective of brand investors who share the passion and goals for authentic cultural representation in craft beer.
The next 12 months are set to be busy for Crowns & Hops. In addition to its first ever crowdfunding campaigns, Teo and Beny will also front a TV show on BrewDog’s digital TV network, The BrewDog Network. The show will offer a behind-the-scenes look into the dope culture, taste, and art in craft beer.
This spring will see the release of Crowns & Hops’ signature beers, an IPA, a pilsner, and a stout. The launches will be supported by a series of tasting experiences, events and festivals across the United States and the UK, to give the public and investors first access to the beers.
Crowns & Hops has grown a loyal following through its commitment to building a craft beer industry that embraces the diversity and creativity of the two colliding worlds of taste and culture. As well as spreading its mission through its signature brews. It also boasts a signature merchandise line consisting of Black People Love Beer and Brown People Love Beer t-shirts and sweatshirts, available for purchase online.
Teo Hunter said: “We’ve grown weary of asking for our presence to be acknowledged in a community that has never truly embraced us. So instead of waiting for it to happen organically, we’re doing it ourselves, and creating a community that will become a mecca for those that are searching for it. The spontaneity and creativity that exist in brewing is the same that exists within great jazz and hip-hop. We hope to stay true to the excellence of the craft in a way that brings the best products to our community, always.”
Beny Ashburn added: “The time is now for cultural ownership. Responsible, authentic culture curated for the people by the people. We are thrilled to partner with BrewDog to help make this vision a reality.”
BrewDog co-founder, James Watt, commented: “Beny and Teo’s passion for changing the world of craft beer is infectious. The Crowns & Hops movement is inspiring brewers, bars, and beer enthusiasts around the world to take an honest and critical look at the ways craft beer culture has consciously and unconsciously excluded people of colour.
“When I first met them, I was completely blown away by how unapologetic and uncompromising they are, and it opened my own eyes to a very serious issue we have in craft beer. It’s these qualities that made us such great partners, and I can’t wait to see what they can achieve with BrewDog’s support.”